Fergie – Big Girls Don’t Cry

First Hit #1: September 8, 2007

There was a different song called Big Girls Don’t Cry. It was by The Four Seasons, and has absolutely nothing to do with Fergie, who is determined to prove she has range by breaking out an acoustic guitar. To be fair, she does have range, even if she’s singing a song that seems like it should be sung by someone a bit younger. It’s not being ageist really, it’s just a pretty juvenile song, lots of references to childhood, playgrounds, general little kid things, and there’s a sense that maybe as a grown-ass woman she should be a bit less focused on something so young – it feels like a song written for an up and coming teen sensation rather than an established artist. Still, even if it feels like a coming of age song she explores range that she has been content to just hide in the rest of her career, proving that she’s more than just the Black Eyed Peas’ token woman and that she is a pop star with range and ability.

Her actual personality proves to be somewhat elusive, which is always a danger when you do a complete break from an established sound, and putting the Fergie singles together I have no idea what her perspective as a performer actually is – this somehow came off the same album as London Bridge – but at least she’s capable of doing a pretty decent ballad, and even if she feels like a collection of influences rather than an artist in her own right – I had no idea this was a Fergie song for years – she’s at least capable of making a compelling hit.

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2 Responses to Fergie – Big Girls Don’t Cry

  1. musicosity1 says:

    That link gives an error message in the US. Here’s a link to the 9 minute mini-movie version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6sqA9QtV5I. It features the whole song in a story video, and then weirdly has the whole song again in a loft setting. The lyrics describe a wistful break-up. She’s not leaving him because of him, or so she says: “It’s personal.” It’s the old “It’s not you, it’s me.” But the clear implication in such a phrase is that he’s not a good soulmate, who could help her work through her personal issues. He might be good for someone, but not for her. So yes, it is kinda about him, as much as she tries to let him down easily.

    I hear the ghosts of Mariah Carey and Beyoncé Knowles hovering over the waters, though some of the vocal tics recall Amy Winehouse, whose successful “Rehab” had been a big soul hit in 2006, and whose own not-as-successful rehab and subsequent demise got much press. This is what I think of as a “normal” pop song with a structured melody and chord changes. 2007 has had numerous songs like that, but in the context of the last few years, such songs are actually old-fashioned, at least as songs with enough broad appeal to make it to #1. But old styles die hard; Frank Sinatra was still having #1 hits in 1966 and 1967, more than ten years after the R&B-driven sounds of rock-n-roll had dethroned his sort of melodic ballads and swing dance numbers. I happen to like all those old styles, including the one Fergie gives us here, so I won’t complain when they resurface.

  2. Pingback: The Black Eyed Peas – Boom Boom Pow | We Are Number Ones

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